Intimate Partnership Formation Among Ethnic Minority Youth in Denmark: Transnationalism, generational conflicts, state policies & psychosocial  intervention

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This paper proposes to explore the dynamics of intimate partnership formation among ethnic minority in the Nordic countries with focus on generational conflicts,  psychosocial intervention in the context of transnationalism, including the country of residence as well as the country of origin.

The paper is primarily based on two empirical research projects conducted among ethnic minority groups in Denmark, especially South Asians. The first study included both youth and parental generation (Singla, 2006) while the second includes both ethnic majority and ethnic minority youth (Singla, 2008). The interplay between individualism and interconnectedness is studied through vertical and horizontal relationships within a socio-cultural psychological framework in the studies through quantitative and qualitative research. The state intervention policies related to the so called forced marriages are also included.

The findings point to a complex picture, which challenges the dominant discourse about the ‘intergenerational conflicts and problematic partnership formation’ among the minority youth. They direct attention towards multiple modes of forming intimate relationships among the youth  involving dilemmas, continuity with as well as changes from the parental modes. There are both harmonious as well contentious patterns of intimate partnership formations, the latter affect the mental health of both parental and youth generation. Similarly the restrictive state policies also have negative effect on their mental health through exclusion and stigmatisation processes.

A model of psychosocial intervention about conflict resolution between generations in a wider perpective is to be delineated, including both country of origin, country of residence as well as  concepts of racism, ageism and sexism.


Key words:  transnationalism, parental and youth generation, multiple modes, individualism, interconnectedness, restrictive state policies, psychosocial intervention

Original languageEnglish
Publication date2009
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventIntimate partnership formation in migrant communities Meeting hosted by NAKMI (Norwegian Centre for Minority Health Research) - Oslo, Norway
Duration: 21 Oct 200922 Oct 2009


ConferenceIntimate partnership formation in migrant communities Meeting hosted by NAKMI (Norwegian Centre for Minority Health Research)


  • transnationalism
  • parental and youth generation
  • multiple modes
  • individualism
  • interconnectedness
  • restrictive state policies
  • psychosocial intervention

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